Posted on June 30, 2012
Another afternoon has devolved into me wasting time watching TV while the washing machine hums behind me. I’m preparing myself and hubby by making sure the household chores are finished before baby’s arrival. But, I’m sure I get more television watched than cleaning done, in all honesty – but I believe it is the thought that counts, yes? We are actually, however slowly, getting the odd jobs done. The closets have been cleaned out and organized, the furniture has been rearranged and arranged once again, and room after room is getting the once over with the sanitizer and the elbow grease. Little by little, I’m putting a lot of old me away to make room for the little one who will need their own space to grow. It’s been an eight month process but as the due date gets nearer and nearer, I’ve been become acutely aware that the process, the change, has been more internal than external. Which I believe is what is supposed to happen.
I’ll brace my mother by saying, I’ll start out negatively here but I have a point, so try to hear me out. It turns out to be the truth when you hear that the fear of your labour is quieted by the intense need you feel to get the baby out of your body and into the world. By month eight, everything feels a bit miserable, it’s like everything is asking too much and the smallest task becomes a mountain to scale yet you don’t have the equipment. It’s been months now of continuous trial and error, of pain and discomfort, of changes in both yourself and indeed the people around you. The more nights that pass by with me sleepless and sore with the beautiful marriage of leg and crotch cramps, the more I see the end of this process as a blessing and a destination I am running at full speed. A complete 180 flip from a couple of months ago when I spent hours on end refusing to go through labour and considering it an impossible feat. It is one swift change and even though I know I’ll have an infant, a 24hour work day and a whole new appreciation for what “work” really is … but at least everything that will be difficult in the future comes with the promise of ability. Like my mother said to me, back when I talked about pregnancy in easy-breezy terms because I knew nothing at all, carrying a baby is hard on the body, the mind and the soul. It takes work, dedication and a serious but positive attitude. But cut to the almost end, here where I stand now, all I can think is how much I miss pre-pregnant me. Missing the simple things like sleeping in any position I desire. Remembering what it was like to enjoy food, and not worry so much about calories and weight gain, a time where you weren’t weighing in every two weeks and being judged, scrutinized and recorded. I miss being able to wear pants with zippers and buttons, when my closet was a place of possibility not a graveyard of what I used to wear. I miss feeling energetic and able to climb stairs, or even walk around the block comfortably. Most of all I miss being able to fake slenderness by sucking in this massive stomach of mine. Now my gut just sits there, day after day, all huge and hard, impossible to camouflage or remove. Even for just one second of relief. I’m not bothered that I’m littered with stretch marks, for me those are markings of real triumph and achievement. But sometimes I’m genuinely bothered that my belly comes with me everywhere I go and that it has the power to obliterate my ability to feel beautiful or god forbid, sexy. It is selfishness and vanity talking, but preggo wants a vacation from pregnancy and its physicality.
I’m ready for whoever this is inside of me to be out and in my arms where we are finally two individuals, at long last. And, this is the positive part, I think. This is what the pregnancy journey is about. Learning that you can overcome, handle and deal with whatever is thrown at you. From day one whether you like it or not, you are putting out small fires. You are taking change onboard and living with it. Sure, by now I’m sick enough of my state, that thinking about becoming a mother is a calming vision and a wonderful destination to look forward to because I know that come that time I’ll be back in a physical state to do it, and possibly to even enjoy it. The opportunity to get myself back in fighting shape will present itself and I am more than ready to reach out and take it. In time I won’t be haunted by weight, sleeplessness and apprehension. It is a balancing of the scales. A new baby and new routine may amp up the difficulty of my life but I’ve gained a new strength and hopefulness that tell me I have the tools to succeed. What a rewarding moment it will be when the attention shifts from me to another. I’m sure I’ve been ready my entire life to take on this challenge, but it’s been a secret, you see, because outwardly I’m a sassy-mouthed, negative bitch. But in my heart of hearts I’m a giver and a survivor and all these years with my mom nattering at me to be more positive has led to this moment. A moment where I say with some positivity: Bring it on.